March 15, 2016 by Stan Fagerstrom Leave a Comment My friend Bruce Holt displays the kind of smallmouth bass anglers are now finding in the Columbia River.
February 15, 2016 by Stan Fagerstrom 1 Comment Darn few fishermen have more of the details about the history of bass lures than does the guy pictured here. It’s also one of the benefits of having been around as long, or longer than most, of the veteran outdoor scribes who are still whacking out stories of one kind or another.
My friend Dick’s DVD is titled “Fishing Can Be Funny.” If you don’t get a belly laugh or two watching the darn thing I’m gonna be surprised.
I’ve never seen anyone with the wealth of old time gizmos or gadgets that Streater displays and talks about in his video dealing with his collection of gear from yesteryear. Many of the items Streater shows his DVD audiences were actually marketed at one time or another. Writing about Dick’s new video just barely scratches the surface of what this interesting Pacific Northwest man has contributed where bass fishing is concerned.
That Seattle club of plug pitchers was organized way back in 1938, making it one of if not the first group of its kind in the entire country. Anybody who is really serious about his bass fishing has to have an interest in the lures we use to hook ‘em. His curiosity was what got him started collecting everything he could get his hands on that was designed to put bass in the boat.
I got up to my own butt in bass fishing almost from the time I finally got out of Washington state’s Madigan General Hospital near Fort Lewis shortly after returning from the South Pacific when World War II ended in 1946.
Dick Streater is shown holding just a few of items that make up his outstanding and unique collection of old fishing lures and gadgets from the angling world. The old timers who had formed the Western Bass Club up there in the Seattle area loved their bass fishing as I did. You’ll find evidence of that in the sizable collection of fishing books I have right here in my office. That book is titled “Streater’s Reference Catalog Of Old Fishing Lures.” This big hard cover book is made up like an overgrown three ring notebook. Dick had a darn good reason for selecting the three ring binder format in which his book appeared. Streater told me about one of the things his book accomplished: “The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame was established in Hayward, Wisconsin,” Dick says, “and they were getting many donations of old fishing lures that they could not identify.
To show his thanks Kutz nominated Dick Streater for recognition in the first Hall of Fame recognition class the Hall of Fame did in 1982. I wish I could tell you that copies of Streater’s book, like the one I have, are still available. Before winding up this column I want to tell you where you can obtain a copy of Streater’s chuckle provoking “Fishing Can Be Funny” video.
I’ve got some other things to share regarding Dick Streater as well as the Western Bass Club and Pacific Northwest bass fishing in general. January 5, 2016 by Stan Fagerstrom Leave a Comment I hope some of my favorite Bill Norman lures don’t eventually get dropped now that the company has been sold. If you read my last column you know I told about my long time friendship with Bill Norman, the founder of Norman Lures.
If you did read that column, you’re aware I told about Norman having started his own lure company back in the 1960s. December 1, 2015 by Stan Fagerstrom Leave a Comment Having Bill Norman for a friend meant a great deal to me. Whenever we take time to look back over the high spots along the trail we’ve followed, we’re certain to remember especially well some of the special events that have transpired.
If certain of those events happened to involve special friends, they’re even more certain to be up close to the top of your tackle box of memories.
This applies every bit as much – maybe more – to fishing as it does to anything else. If you read my last column you’ll recall I promised to tell about an experience that finally got me on the right track to get my Hula Poppers to do the job for me.
Maybe, like me and lots of other bassin’ men, you want to get your lure out there exactly where it needs to be but then you want to do something with it. Now nobody wants you and me to be successful with specific lures more than the guy who markets ‘em. It was after I finally got to meet and get to know the owner of Arbogast Lures and some of the folks at the Arbogast factory that what I kept hearing regarding their Hula Poppers began to sink in. At that time the lake’s level would rise a few feet early in the year when the snow in the western Cascades began to melt. I knew they were there because I’d caught a few in the several years I’d lived right on the lake’s shoreline. Sizeable bass often hang out around pockets in the pad fields like those you see in the left of this picture. Russell Martin, my brother in law, was just getting into bass fishing and was coming up to go out with me. I asked Russ not to bang around in the boat because we were only in water of three or four feet or less in depth. I’d probably managed to do this for the better part of an hour without so much as a sign of fish.
I’d about decided all that crap I’d heard about just leaving the Hula Popper alone was a lot like the stuff they scoop out of the pens where they keep the bulls. I’ve mentioned that Russ had been observing and no doubt questioning what I “hadn’t” been doing with my Hula Popper. I happened to be watching him when I saw the pads move again a few feet away from where his lure was setting.
Now those are nice bass anywhere but especially so in the usually cooler waters of the Pacific Northwest.
That old gal down there with the broad shoulders might just want to see what’s gonna happen when she gets up close and careful without actually making contact. October 1, 2015 by Stan Fagerstrom 1 Comment As you can see in this picture, that Hula Popper I threw into a hole back in pad cover minutes ago is still fishin’ all by itself. I doubt anybody knows quite as much about specific bass baits as the guys who come up with them in the first place. In last month’s column I mentioned having had the chance down through the years of getting to know personally some of the nation’s leading lure makers.


I also mentioned that one of the guys I’d always wished I could have met, but didn’t, was Fred Arbogast. I didn’t get to connect with Fred because he had almost come and gone before I wrote my first piece about bass. September 22, 2015 by Stan Fagerstrom 1 Comment When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves.
I didn’t, of course, have a chance to meet all of them back there 69 years ago when I first started writing but by golly I did get to meet quite a few. One of the lure manufacturers I’ve always wished I’d had opportunity to meet was Fred Arbogast. Without fail, it seems every year one of bass fishing’s forefathers passes to the great lake in the sky and the sport is left with a gaping hole. Then last week, we lost a man who helped change the sport of bass fishing to make it what it is today. September 21, 2015 by Stan Fagerstrom Leave a Comment I didn’t have any white in my whiskers when I first started corresponding with Homer Circle way back in the middle of the last century. There’s been a heap of change in this business of marketing baits designed to put bass in the boat since I did my first writing about it. It was way back in the middle of the last century when I turned out my first fishing columns for a daily newspaper.
And even more important, as far as I’m concerned, is how the tackle industry in those early days put me in touch with some lifetime friends. July 9, 2015 by Terry Leave a Comment Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide.
One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When.
July 1, 2015 by Stan Fagerstrom Leave a Comment Abe Schiller checks out some of the lures he’s going to show the bass at Lake Mead.
Any time I take a look back at Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the earlier days of professional bass fishing it brings a mixture of memories – some good and some sad. I expect many bass anglers will relate both Vegas and Lake Mead to the first Bassmasters Classic in 1971.
Anytime a pro wins a major tour event, especially a high profile one like the Bassmaster Classic, it is just a matter of weeks, or sometimes even days, before the winning company tries to capitalize on the victory. The Wheeler family's ties to the boating industry began in 1951 when Vern Wheeler's passion for boat racing lead him to open a Mercury outboard dealership. Assembly is easy with a sturdy tripod style stand made of high quality powder-coated steel.
It’s the opportunity it provides to share thoughts about some really outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to this business of bassin’. I particularly enjoy sharing those thoughts I’ve mentioned when they are about a man who has been around quite awhile himself. And old Dick has a sense of humor as broad as his generously endowed rear end that he shares in his presentation of each item. Now in his mid-80s, Streater has played an active role in the Pacific Northwest bass fishing scene almost since the middle of the last century. He came to Washington State from Minnesota back in the 1960s and it wasn’t long before he found his way into the Western Bass Club that’s based in Seattle. I went to work for a daily newspaper in May of that year and jumped at the chance to do a fishing column as one of my first regular assignments.
In the beginning I probably had more reader complaints after detailing some of my bass fishing experiences than I did expressions of appreciation because those fish were finally getting some attention. Streater is a nationally known lure collector who has been recognized by the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
When Dick Streater arrived from his former home in Minnesota he immediately began making his own contributions.
One of the books that has held a position of prominence in my collection for a long, long time is one I still find myself turning to every now and then. It is loaded with pictures and information.  I wish I had a couple of bucks for the countless times I’ve turned to that book for information I needed to complete a fishing column or magazine feature.
He made that choice so he could easily insert any new information that he might desire to include in future production runs.
Streater eventually did eight printing runs of his catalog, plus one large supplement in 1981, including the archives of the Pflueger Company that had been preserved by Trig Lund when the Pflueger Company was being dismantled. I agree that it’s sometimes true but by golly don’t expect it to happen the day after tomorrow. Not long afterwards he quit doing things on his own and went to work for another Arkansas bait making company named the Plastics Research and Develop Company.
They maintained the mistake most bassin’ men were making with that lure was fishing it too darn fast. I made up my mind to try to do what the folks at Arbogast had been insisting was necessary where their Hula Poppers were concerned.
All of the ripples from the splash died away and the surface of the water was completely quiet. There was just the slightest movement in some other pads about four feet away from my lure. I think they were called a “De-Liar.” The truth of what I’d been told about fishing the Hula Popper finally started to hit home. And they both went on our stringer and eventually on the dinner table because this was years before I helped introduce catch and release into that part of the world. One is that you still can’t fish that wonderful old Hula Popper too slowly if you want it to put bass in the boat for you.
Then, a couple of heartbeats later, when you do gently twitch the lure to make it come alive – Wham! If you’ve taken good care of its Hula Skirt your lure is going to do the same thing the one in this picture is doing. Fred, of course, was the guy who gave us lures ranging from the family of Hawaiian Wigglers to familiar surface baits like the wondrous old Jitterbugs and Hula Poppers. I miss those days when if you had a question about a specific item of fishing tackle you could usually go right to the guy who had his name on it to get the answers. I’m talking about guys like Bill Norman, Cotton Cordell, Dick Kotis, Jim Bagley, Gary Loomis, Tex Reeder, Phil Jensen and a number of others.


That didn’t happen because Fred was already producing the first of his famous to be line of bass lures about the time I came into the world away back in 1923.
Some of those friends were instrumental in opening doors that led to me eventually having experiences I’d previously not even dreamed about having.
That publication, and we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunters Guide.
When I fished with him while aboard the big Flamingo Hotel’s cruiser back in the 1950s we rarely ran into other bass boats. I was there for that original Classic but my experience with both the city and the lake began well before that event took place. He began by selling and repairing Mercury outboards from the automotive service station he owned and operated. Standing over 6 feet high, the Super Prize Wheel draws a crows at the office, tradeshow, a store, an annual meeting, a wedding or any other event.
All of our wheels are made of a combination of extra tough ABS plastic and durable PETG plastic. Let us e-mail or fax you a sample non-binding proposal detailing some of our packages and the benefits and savings we can extend to you by working with us! He is a long time member of the National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club and has been recognized by the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Actually, I wish I’d have had a chance to see the video myself well before I did, because it would have made a darn good Christmas gift for anyone who loves fishing.
But darn few of us ever had that interest build up with the intensity that Dick Streater has.
It was some of this often hard-to-find knowledge he had at his fingertips that brought us together in the first place. A commercial edition of Dick’s book called “The Fishing Lure Collectors Bible” was eventually done by the Collector Books Division of Schroeder Publishing in 1999.
You’ll see some of what I’m talking about in my next Let’s Look Back column starting right here on March 1. I was there too, but it was another event held in concert with the Classic that brought me.
Why not start it dancing its way back to the boat and maybe get one of those bass you know is out there excited enough to smack it?
This lake, one of the better bass lakes in the Pacific Northwest, isn’t really deep anyplace. The bass always did some early prowling around in these areas that they knew they wouldn’t be able to reach once the lake level receded. Sometimes a good fish will reveal its approach by causing movement in the pads as it approaches to get a better look at your lure.
We only had a couple of hours of daylight left when we eased our way through a canal on the west end of the lake and then out into a grassy field that had lots of reeds and pads that had been flooded as the lake had risen. I could see the white strands of the Hula Skirt still moving a bit behind the lure though I hadn’t moved it an inch. I just watched and then my heart just about stopped as the water beneath lure my just sort of boiled. Now I waited a half dozen heartbeats and then just flipped my rod tip enough to make the lure dig down and forward an inch or two and – BASSPLOOSH!
Another beauty came surging up to smash his lure and within a few minutes she too was in the boat. Actually, I entered the scene away back in 1923 but Fred, an expert bait caster besides heading up a terrific lure company, was already a national bait casting champion in 1922, 1923 and 1924. In January of this year we lost lure giant Cotton Cordell and I was hoping that would be it – there just aren’t many of the old-timers left – and from my selfish perspective, they have so much to offer with respect to the history of our beloved sport. Yes, Ray Scott gets the credit for starting the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society – that fact will never be argued. The way I went about getting details on new products I wanted to write about back in those early days provides one of glaring aspects of the changes I’m talking about.
Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the outdoors magazines of the time in order to get their fix of bass fishing information.
I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, that’ll be another story in time, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen. The beautiful Flamingo was then the only major hotel on what was to become the fabled Las Vegas Strip that we know today. It’s also of special interest if you belong to a fishing club or group that brings in speakers or entertainment of one kind or another.
It’s shallower now, thanks to some really stupid things done to let its level come down, than it was when I lived there. And, Ray started the sport the right way, by making sure there was a firm set of rules and that every angler adhered to them.
Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines, it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning out to catch bass from periodicals.
There are so many great ways to use the Prize Wheel that every occasion is a perfect occasion to use it! But as hard as some of the fish officials in states like Oregon and Washington have tried to destroy the big river’s warm water fishery it’s a wonder it’s still there. You might be able to find a copy at Internet sites like Amazon but I’m not at all sure of that. The difference was once I’d cast my lure where I wanted it to be I just left it alone for at least a couple of minutes, even longer if I could stand it. In 1994 Vern and Eloise sold the business to their son Steve who continues to operate the business.
This club, based in Seattle, is thought to have been the first bass club organized in the United States.
MirroCraft has been building high quality aluminum boats for fishing, crusing, and skiing since 1956.



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